Wednesday, November 10, 2010


The interviews I had shot at the start of my project were for research purposes and for creating an online archival. However since most of the conten of the interviews was repitative, I decided to not make an archival.
However, I thought that some of things the different printers had said were opinions and experiences that could be combined together into a short film. The aim of this film would be to give the audience a glance into the world of letterpress, how it works, what are the opinions of the people who work with and whether they think there is a future or not.
My interviews were of an informal nature (which was a conscious choice). So I thought I would compile some of the things that were said to make a piece that combined these conversations and gave the audience something to see, visualise and think about.
Hence the film is called “Conversations about Pressing Matters”. This combines the informal interviews and the name of the letterpress book and leaves it open ended for a viewer to draw his own conclusions. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

QR Code (How it works)

When the phone is held up against the poster, the mobile phone’s camera reads the QR code (using a QR code reader application).
On reading the data embedded in the QR code, the application takes you to the link. The user can then browse that link with the internet connection on his / her mobile phone.


It was a last minute decision to create a seris of posters about letterpress printing.
To add some sort of drawing force to the exhibit space, large scale screen printed posters that would draw the audiences’ attention seemed appropriate.
To add another layer I embedded a QR (Quick Respone) code, which links to this blog. 
(A QR Code is a matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code), readable by QR scanners, mobile phones with a camera, and smartphones. The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on white background. The information encoded can be text, URL or other data.)

To print A2 posters on paper is really difficult as most screen printers do not print beyond A3. So instead of printing on paper, I decided I would print on cloth and have a screen printer who prints bed-sheets etc. do the screen printing part.

Since I had photographs in the background, I had those printed digitally with the QR code on cloth at Welpak. The screens were prepared at Jai printers who print on tshirts, bed-sheets, pillows, jeans etc.
After printing on cloth, the poster were taken to the screen printers where a single print of each poster was made.

Below are some of the process and end product pictures:

Pressing Matters.. PRINTED

I decided to use three different metallic sheets for the three different chapters.

– Rives Traditional Ice White 250gsm
– Conquerer Iridescent Silver Mist 250gsm
– Curious Metal Galvanised 250gsm

For the more fun, light hearted prints I used coloured paper.
The coloured paper stock was Canson.

– 133 Bonbon 150gsm
– 132 Clementine 150gsm
– 136 Ciel 150gsm
– 139 Prairie 150gsm

The sheets were taken to the printers and they were cut into the appropriate size.

All my composed matter waiting to be printed.

Each of the pages is composed and then thread is tied around it to keep it all in place.
Each piece is then taken and put into the chase so that it can be made read for attaching onto the platen printing press.

Registeration on the paper is extremetly important. The printer first took one test print and then using pins aligned the paper correctly. This whole process is largely a very visual one.
Sometimes the pressure on certain letters was not enough, so pieces of paper were stuck behined to give added pressure.
Printing out approximately over 700 pages in letterpress was a time consuming task and took over 10hours.

Final Screen Prints for the Book

Final screen prints of some of the pages in the letterpress book.

Cover Up... FINALLY!

My first idea for the cover was to work with completely graphic patters, that were not associated to letterpress, something that helped me break from the grid. However I realised that this was too disconnected from the book itself. 

After my review, I went back to the content I had generated for the book and tried to figure out what I could use.
Similar to my earlier idea, I wanted to have 30 different covers since that is really easy to create in a digital medium and equally simple to print.
So using the second colour way that consited of turquoise and grey different covers have different logos highlighted (using the turquoise).Since there were details in the logo that would get lost if screen printed I decided to print on cloth. On my second visit to Welpak I decided to print on canvas instead as it was sturdy and made a more solid cover. The canvas I used had a glossy finish. 

The letterpress printed blocks:

Final Covers:

The final book wrapped in the glossy canvas cover, with a purple ribbon used to tie. The label is attached to the ribbon. (Also with each book is a pair of white gloves, not in picture)

PRESSING MATTERS.. The new Logo...

Since I would be printing digitally I thought I would add a hand done element to the ‘Pressing Matters’ logo. So I started writing out the word ‘matter’ and then decided to digitise it, without loosing the hand done quality.

The new logo I designed needed to look closer to the letterpressed version of ‘Pressing Matters’ (which was written in Unviers regular and italics). THUS, the final logo above (since fonts were no longer an issue on the computer I moved to Scala Sans, as it still tied back to the book).